Entertainment

7 Movies That Represent Different Latino Immigration Experiences In The U.S.

Immigration is a common experience for many Latino families and no two immigration stories are the same. For decades, film has been one of the mediums that has allowed immigrants to tell their stories. Here are seven movies that tackle the issue of immigration from very different angles.

1. Under The Same Moon

Released in 2007, “Under The Same Moon (Bajo La Misma Luna)” stars Mexican actors Kate del Castillo and Eugenio Derbez. It follows a mother in the U.S. whose young son lives in Mexico with his grandmother. As del Castillo’s character works to save money so she can bring her son to the U.S., a family tragedy accelerates the child’s departure from Mexico. The movie shows what the young boy has to endure to make the journey from Mexico across the border to be reunited with his mother.

2. El Norte

This 1983 classic follows siblings Enrique and Rosa, who are forced to flee Guatemala when the violence from a decades-long civil war puts their lives at risk. Remembering their father’s declaration that the United States is a place where the poor “can make something of themselves,” the siblings begin a trek to the U.S. When the siblings leave Guatemala, they make their way to Mexico and seek out a coyote to help them cross the U.S.-Mexico border. They fail crossing the border several times, but once they make it to Los Angeles, they find out that not even El Norte will accept them. While Rosa and Enrique try to survive in the U.S. without the proper documentation, an illness tragically separates the siblings.

3. Sin Nombre

“Sin Nombre” is a 2009 Mexican thriller produced by Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna. It follows Sayra, a Honduran teenager migrating to the U.S. with her father and uncle, as well as Casper, a Mexican gang member. Casper, who robs migrants who ride trains headed for the U.S., meets Sayra when they both stow away on a train headed north. During their journey, Casper has to decide whether to maintain his total allegiance to his gang or to take a different path. From there, the film follows Sayra and Casper as they continue their journey north trying to make it to the U.S. When the two reach the border, things take a turn — you’ll have to watch the film to see how it ends.

4. Mi Familia (My Family)

My Family” offers a more extensive look at the immigration narrative, covering multiple generations. Viewers first meet Jose and Maria, who migrate to the U.S. and settle in East L.A., where they start their family. As the film progresses, Jose and Maria’s children come of age and have children of their own. We see how an immigrant family can set down roots, grow and become part of the “American Dream.”

5. The Perez Family

“The Perez Family,” a 1995 comedy, follows Dorita and Juan, two Cubans who find themselves in Miami after a boat lift and discover that they have the same last name: Perez. They decide to pretend they’re husband and wife to make their entrance easier — but Juan already has a wife who he hasn’t seen in 20 years. On their journey, they “adopt” a young boy as their son and take in an elderly man as his father. Before you know it, comical romantic entanglement ensues, and the protagonists are forced to decide what their future will look like.

6. Desierto

“Desierto,” starring Gael García Bernal, is a 2015 film that depicts what can only be explained as a nightmare. García Bernal’s character, Moises, is part of a group of immigrants who journey through the desert in an attempt to make it to the U.S. During their trek, the group splits into two, with one group far ahead of Moises’ group. What the immigrants don’t know is that Sam, a gun-toting man driving his truck along the border, is about to hunt them. It isn’t long until Sam spots the immigrants and begins to open fire, forcing them to scatter and try to wait him out in an attempt to survive a terrifying and life-threatening ordeal.

7. Entre Nos

“Entre Nos,” released in 2009, is the true story of a woman who makes the journey from Colombia with her children to Queens, New York to be reunited with her husband. When she arrives in the U.S., her husband abandons the family and leaves them to fend for themselves. The family is left digging through garbage and doing whatever it takes to get by. The movie gives audiences a heartbreaking look at the immigrant experience through the eyes of a single mother with two children.

READ: Damn. This Short Film Will Make You Think Twice About Denying Refugees Safety

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Sonia Sotomayor Calls The Case On DACA’s Fate One Of The Justices Deciding Whether To Destroy Lives

Things That Matter

Sonia Sotomayor Calls The Case On DACA’s Fate One Of The Justices Deciding Whether To Destroy Lives

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

While the US Supreme Court’s conservative-majority justices are seemingly ready to allow Trump to rescind Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Justice Sonia Sotomayor clearly stated her opinion that the court’s decision, “is not about the law; this is about our choice to destroy lives.” The 2012 policy shields immigrants, who were brought to the United States as children without documentation, from deportation and allows them to work for up to two years at a time. Research shows that DACA has reduced the number of undocumented immigrants living in poverty, and has improved mental health status for DACA participants and their children. The Trump administration rescinded DACA protections for nearly 700,000 recipients in 2017. 

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments to end DACA and is expected to deliver a decision by Spring 2020.

Two memos lie at the heart of the decision.

Credit: @Princeton / Twitter

The first memo was begrudgingly given by then Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine C. Duke. Duke’s volunteer history included offering legal aid to immigrants. During a White House meeting with Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, she was pressured to issue a memo that would end DACA. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Duke that DACA was illegal, on the grounds of it exceeding presidential power. Duke issued a bare-bones memo that offered no policy reason for the end of DACA, except that it was unlawful. She later resigned.

Her replacement, Kirstjen Nielsen, retroactively justified the decision with a second memo, which included a new reason to end DACA: to project a message of consistency of enforcement of all immigration laws.

Now, US solicitor general Noel Francisco is arguing that Obama’s decision to introduce DACA exceeded presidential power.

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

“Basic administrative law is you look at what’s first given to you,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor told Francisco, not “what you add later.” Still, she said that even if “you ignore that and even look at the Nielsen memo, I think my colleagues have rightly pointed there’s a whole lot of reliance interests that weren’t looked at.” What’s crucial to this decision, according to Sotomayor, is that President Trump had told “DACA-eligible people that they were safe under him and that he would find a way to keep them here. And so he hasn’t and, instead, he’s done this.” 

In 2017, Trump tweeted, in reference to DACA recipients, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?”

Trump tweeted Tuesday that DACA recipients are “far from angels.”

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels,'” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “Some are very tough, hardened criminals. President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”

A major requirement for DACA recipients is that they have no criminal record. “Trump is fear-mongering and falsely accusing people of color,” Dr. Eugene Gu tweeted. “Many DACA recipients are doctors, lawyers, professors, scientists, teachers, and integral members of society. Many have never set foot in their original countries for their whole lives and speak mainly English. Threatening to deport them through racist fear-mongering is evil.”

The events leading up to the memo led Sotomayor to believe “that this is not about the law; this is about our choice to destroy lives.”

Credit: @Grindr / Twitter

Trump’s promise to protect DACA recipients during his campaign and his about-face is “something to be considered before you rescind a policy. Not just say I’ll give you six months to do it – to destroy your lives.” At the end of the day, Sotomayor is pointing out that Francisco’s argument is not evident in the memos. “Where is all of this in the memo? Where is all of this really considered and weighed? And where is the political decision made clearly,” she asked. Sotomayor concluded, “that this is not about the law; this is about our choice to destroy lives.”

Sotomayor also argued that DACA simply allows law enforcement agencies to prioritize its use of its limited resources.

Credit: @Grindr / Twitter

“I have always had some difficulty in understanding the illegality of DACA,” Sotomayor offered her opinion. “We all know [ICE] has limited resources. It can’t, even when it wants to remove the vast majority of aliens we have here. And so I’ve always had some difficulty in understanding what’s wrong with an agency saying, we’re going to prioritize our removals, and for those people, like the DACA people who haven’t committed crimes, who are lawfully employed, who are paying taxes, who pose no threat to our security, and there’s a whole list of prerequisites, we’re not going to exercise our limited resources to try to get rid of those people. I — I still have an impossible time.”

Oh, and Sotomayor was interrupted numerous times by Francisco and her male peers.

Credit: US Supreme Court

A 2017 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law study found that male justices interrupt female justices three times as often as each other during oral arguments. The study also found that conservative justices were twice as likely to interrupt liberal justices than liberal justices were to interrupt their conservative peers. According to Supreme Court transcripts, Justice Sotomayor was interrupted by Justice Neil Gorsuch. The two both awkwardly apologized to each other when Sotomayor graciously told Gorsuch, “No, no, continue.”

When Justice Sotomayor was in the middle of her arguments, General Francisco interrupted her, saying, “So I guess I have three responses, Your Honor.” Sotomayor bluntly said, “All right. But let me just finish my question.” Francisco casually said, “Oh, sure,” to which Sotomayor incredulously asked, “Okay?” “Yeah,” Francisco responded to the Justice.

A decision is expected to be made public by Spring 2020.

READ: Justice Sonia Sotomayor Breaks New Two-Minute Rule By Interrupting Lawyer During Immigration Case

Selena Gomez Says That Social Media Users Had Attacked Her When She Gained Weight: ‘Really Messed Me Up’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Says That Social Media Users Had Attacked Her When She Gained Weight: ‘Really Messed Me Up’

selenagomez / Instagram

Two years ago, actress and singer Selena Gomez opened up to fans about her experience with lupus and undergoing a kidney transplant. The summer before she took a public break from her music career. The singer had been traveling her for Revival world tour when she announced her decision to take a break to focus on her health. She cited anxiety, panic attacks and depression as side effects to her lupus diagnosis and expressed her need to take care of her health. Now, Gomez has revealed why she spent so much time out of the spotlight. She was undergoing a kidney transplant.

Since her surgery, Gomez has been open about her experience and its impact on her physical and mental health.

View this post on Instagram

Loving my new Dreamer @Coach bag. #CoachNY

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

The singer opened up even more about the process of recovery during a recent podcast, in which she revealed that she’d experienced body shaming her health led to weight gain. During an appearance on a recent episode of “Giving Back Generation,” a video podcast by Raquelle Stevens, Gomez said criticism impacted her “big time.”

During the interview, Gomez said that after being attacked by body shamers online she decided that she needed some time away from social media. This was primarily because they were having so much of an impact on her mental health.

“I experienced [body-shaming] with my weight fluctuation for the first time,” Selena told Stevens during the podcast. “I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure, so I deal with a lot of health issues, and for me that’s when I really started noticing more of the body-image stuff.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that, occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus — a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks — occurs in many but not all cases of lupus. Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.” 

Speaking about how the autoimmune disease has affected her weight, Gomez said that it’s normal for her to fluctuate.

“It’s the medication I have to take for the rest of my life — it depends on even the month, to be honest. So for me, I really noticed when people started attacking me for that,” she explained. “In reality, that’s just my truth. I fluctuate. It depends what’s happening in my life.”

Gomez went onto further explain how the body shaming affected how she has chosen to interact with her fans moving forward.

“I’m very happy with living my life and being present. Because that’s it. Similar to me posting a photo and walking away. For me that’s it. I will do a red carpet, I will do whatever. I don’t need to see it. I participated. I felt wonderful and that’s where the extent of it is,” she said. “I don’t care to expose myself to everyone and hear what they have to say about it… I don’t care about that stuff but I did start gaining weight and I didn’t mind it. And that hurt…I’ve experienced people who try to control that kind of stuff before. This is my time and I want to do it the way I want to do it.”

It’s not the first time Gomez has opened up how criticism about her appearance has affected her mental health and how she chooses to include social media in her life. 

In 2018, Gomez explained that she was taking a step back from social media because she was being affected by disparaging and negative comments online.

“Update: taking a social media break,” she wrote to fans in a post on Instagram at the time. “Again. As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember— negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”

“Update: taking a social media break,” she wrote to fans in a post on Instagram at the time. “Again. As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember— negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”